276. Rabbi Yehuda bar Shalom was traveling with Rabbi Aba. They entered a place and lodged there. They ate and, when they wanted to lie down, they lay their heads on a mound of earth where there was a grave. Before they fell asleep, someone called from the grave and said, MY seed is going into the ground - MEANING GOING TO WASTE. It has been twelve years that I have not awakened, except now, for I see the face of my son here!
277. Rabbi Yehuda said, Who are you? He said to him, I am a Jew, and I sit alone, AS IN EXCOMMUNICATION. For I cannot enter THE GARDEN OF EDEN because of the pain of my son who was stolen, when he was still small, by a heathen who beats him every day. His pain prevents me from entering my place, and I awoke just now in this place.
278. He said to him, Do you know the pain of the living? He said to him, I SWEAR by the minister of my grave that were it not for our prayers for the living, they would not survive in the world for even a half day. I awoke here, for they were telling me every day that my son would come here soon, but I do not know if alive or after his death.
279. Rabbi Yehuda said to him, What do you do in that world? The grave rumbled and he said, Go, arise, for now they are beating my son. They were amazed and fled from there about a half a mile. They sat until morning light. They rose to go and saw a man who was running and fleeing FROM HIS MASTER - AS HE WAS SAVED FROM HIM BY THE PRAYERS OF HIS DEAD FATHER. And he was bleeding from his shoulders. They held him and he told them THE STORY OF THE HEATHEN WHO KIDNAPPED HIM WHEN HE WAS A CHILD, AND WHO BEAT HIM UNTIL HE STARTED TO BLEED. They said to him, What is your name? He said to them, Lachma bar Livai. They said, Was not Livai bar Lachma THE NAME OF that deceased? We are afraid to talk with him anymore! They did not return to him. Rabbi Aba said, This is what they said - that the prayers of the dead protect the living. How do we know? IT IS because it is written, "And they went up to the Negev and he came to Cherubs" (Bemidbar 13:22), MEANING TO PRAY AT THE GRAVE OF THE PATRIARCHS, THAT THEY WOULD PRAY FOR THEM.
280. Rabbi Yehuda said, Come and behold. The Holy One, blessed be He, made two vows to Jacob. He would descend with him and sojourn with him in exile, and He would raise him from his grave to see the joy of the holy camp OF THE CHARIOTS AND THE ANGELS, who sojourned with his children IN EXILE DURING THE REDEMPTION. This is the meaning of, "I will go down with you into Egypt" (Beresheet 46:4), MEANING I will descend with you into exile. "And I will surely bring you up again," MEANING DURING THE REDEMPTION, BECAUSE "BRING YOU UP" IS AN EXPRESSION OF REDEMPTION, as is written, "And I will bring you up from your graves, My people" (Yechezkel 37:12), and, "There the tribes used to go up..." (Tehilim 122:4).
281. Another explanation of, "Now there arose a new king..." (Shemot 1:8) Rabbi Shimon said, On that day, permission was granted to the Minister of Egypt to be ABOVE all the other nations. For we learned that before Joseph died, Egypt was not granted dominion over Yisrael, but when Joseph died, "Now there arose a new king." "Arose" MEANS as one who was lowly and arose, FOR ON THAT DAY THE MINISTER OF EGYPT AROSE TO BE GREAT, AS MENTIONED EARLIER.